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State of the Position: Blue Jays’ outfield

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09.12.2019

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SAN DIEGO — No matter where you look, the numbers are not flattering when it comes to the outfielders the Toronto Blue Jays employed in 2019.

In terms of overall production, the Jays were 27th out of 30 teams, getting a total of 1.6 fWAR from their outfield.

For context, the Los Angeles Dodgers led baseball with 17.7 Wins Above Replacement from their outfield group.

Fourteen teams had 10-plus fWAR of outfield production, which tells you exactly how far the Jays are from even being in the middle of the outfield pack.

Not a fan of the groovy, new-age stats? The traditional numbers paint just as ugly a picture: last in on-base percentage at .286, one of just two teams in baseball that couldn’t even get a .300 on-base percentage from its outfield group, last in batting average at .224, and second from the bottom in strikeout rate, with Blue Jays outfielders whiffing 28.8 per cent of the time.

An outfield that can’t hit or get on base at even a league-average clip is not a winning recipe.

So how does it change?

Great question.

It’s going to take some creativity it seems, because there’s a slight chance it’s a very similar outfield group in 2020.

CURRENT 2020 OUTLOOK

Starters

LF Lourdes Gurriel Jr., 26
CF Teoscar Hernandez, 27
RF Randal Grichuk, 28

Bench

LF Derek Fisher, 26
OF Anthony Alford, 25

On the 40-man

LF/RF Billy McKinney, 25
CF Jonathan Davis, 28

If he can stay on the field for a full season, Gurriel Jr. could be on the verge of a major breakout.

A case of the yips at second base early on in 2019 forced the Jays to give up on the 26-year-old Cuban in the infield, but he quickly took to left field — he had dabbled there back in his home country — and showed a whole lot of pop, hitting 20 homers with a........

© TSN